Carnegie Mellon University

Diana S. Parno

Assistant Professor
Affiliate Assistant Professor, University of Washington

Nuclear & Particle Physics
Neutrino Physics
Wean Hall 8414

Lab Website

Prof. Diana Parno

Education & Professional Experience

Ph.D.: Carnegie Mellon University (2011)

Professional Societies:
American Physical Society


Curriculum ViTAE

Assistant Research Professor, Carnegie Mellon University, 2017–
Research Assistant Professor of Physics, University of Washington, 2016
Associate Director, CENPA, University of Washington, 2014–2016
Acting Assistant Professor of Physics, University of Washington, 2014–2016
Post-doctoral research: University of Washington, 2011–2014

Research Interests

My primary research interest is in the physics of the neutrino, a fundamental particle that is generated in particle decays and nuclear reactions and that, in the Standard Model of particle physics, interacts only via the weak force. At Earth's distance from the Sun, about 65 billion solar neutrinos pass through every square centimeter every second, and the vast majority of them pass right through the planet. Neutrinos interact with matter so rarely that they were originally assumed to be massless, but in the last two decades several clever experiments showed that neutrinos do have a small but nonzero mass. Furthermore, despite its small magnitude, the mass of the neutrino has made an imprint on a cosmic scale: vast numbers of neutrinos were created in the early universe, and their collective mass affected the way that early structures formed. Neutrinos provided the first evidence of physics beyond the Standard Model in the electroweak sector, and they provide a bridge between very small scales and very large ones.

The neutrino mass scale offers a rare opportunity to probe a cosmological parameter in the laboratory. I am Analysis Co-Coordinator for the KATRIN experiment in Karlsruhe, Germany, which is designed to improve on existing direct neutrino-mass limits by an order of magnitude. KATRIN will use the kinematics of tritium beta decay to extract the neutrino-mass scale with an anticipated sensitivity of 0.2 eV/c^2 (90% confidence level) — a value more than 2.5 million times lighter than the electron mass! KATRIN is currently preparing for the beginning of data-taking with tritium toward the end of 2017. My group is involved with maintenance, operation and characterization of the main KATRIN detector system; data-quality assurance for the entire experiment; and background studies. We are also working to understand the molecular physics of gaseous tritium sources more generally, both with anticipated KATRIN data and with a dedicated experiment in Seattle, the Tritium Recoil-Ion Mass Spectrometer (TRIMS).

Recent Publications

K. Altenmüller et al. (KATRIN collab.), Muon-induced background in the KATRIN main spectrometer, Astropart. Phys. 108, 40 (2019)

M. Mihovilovič et al. (JLab Hall A collab.), Measurement of double-polarization asymmetries in the quasi-elastic 3He → (e→, e'p) process, Phys. Lett. B 799, 117 (2018)

M. Arenz et al. (KATRIN collab.), First transmission of electrons and ions through the KATRIN beamline, JINST 13, P04020 (2018)

M. Arenz et al. (KATRIN collab.), Reduction of stored-particle background by a magnetic pulse method at the KATRIN experiment, Eur. Phys. J. C 78, 778 (2018)

M. Arenz et al. (KATRIN collab.), The KATRIN superconducting magnets: overview and first performance results, JINST 13, T08005 (2018)

M. Arenz et al. (KATRIN collab.), Calibration of high voltages at the ppm level by the difference of 83mKr conversion electron lines at the KATRIN experiment, Eur. Phys. J. C 78, 368 (2018)

D. Akimov et al. (COHERENT collaboration), Observation of coherent elastic neutrino-nucleus scattering, Science 357, 1123 (2017)

V. Sulkosky et al., Extraction of the Neutron Electric Form Factor from Measurements of Inclusive Double Spin Asymmetries, Phys. Rev. C 96, 065206 (2017)

X. Yan et al., First measurement of unpolarized semi-inclusive deep-inelastic scattering cross sections from a 3He target, Phys. Rev. C 95, 035209 (2017)

D. Flay, M. Posik, D.S. Parno et al., Measurements of dn2 and An1: Probing the neutron spin structure, Phys. Rev. D 94, 052003 (2016)

D.S. Parno, D. Flay, M. Posik et al., Precision measurements of An1 in the deep inelastic regimePhys. Lett. B 744, 309 (2015)

L.I. Bodine, D.S. Parno, and R.G.H. Robertson, Assessment of molecular effects on neutrino mass measurements from tritium β decay, Phys. Rev. C 91, 035505 (2015)

More Publications:
ORCID  Researcher ID